By Rachel HoustonMarch 5, 2007
FORT BENNING, Ga. (Army News Service, March 5, 2007) - Maj. Gen. Robert M. Williams, commanding general of the U.S. Army Armor Center and School, spoke at the graduation of the first Maneuver Captains Career Course Friday.
"This is an historic event for our Army today," Williams told his audience. "This course represents the leading edge of the Maneuver Center of Excellence. We've always fought together, the armor and infantry, and now we're going to train together," Williams said.
The 19-week MCCC combines and replaces the Infantry Captains Career and Armor Captains Career courses to bring the infantry and armor schools together at Fort Benning under the BRAC changes. The course was conducted simultaneously at Fort Knox, Ky., and that class is graduating today.
The aligning of the courses is happening now to make the physical transition - which should begin in 2010 - easier, Williams said in an interview after the graduation. Current plans call for the Armor School to complete its move here by September 2011.
Integration efforts for the Maneuver Advanced NCO Course are also under way. It replaces the infantry and armor crewman/scout ANCOC.
The new maneuver courses are taught by a mixture of infantry and armor Soldiers, and students are mixed as well. Until Fort Benning is resourced to support both, the courses will be taught at both posts simultaneously.
"When the BRAC law was announced so many critics rose up in anger," Williams said. People worried that the infantry and armor branches would lose their identities by coming together at Fort Benning. "But I'm not concerned about that," he said.
Each branch brings unique techniques and tactical approaches, he said. "I never go anywhere without an infantryman next to me. I couldn't have a better team than my infantry brethren," he said, adding that all branches of the Army should work together.
(Rachel Houston writes for the Fort Benning "Bayonet.")